ABA promotes quiescence of the quiescent centre and suppresses stem cell differentiation in the Arabidopsis primary root meristem

Authors

  • Hanma Zhang,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Plant Sciences, Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
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  • Woong Han,

    1. Centre for Plant Sciences, Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
    2. School of Biotechnology, Kangwon National University, Hyo-Ja 3 Dong, Chuncheon, Gangwon 200-701, South Korea
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  • Ive De Smet,

    1. Department of Cell Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany
    2. Center for Plant Molecular Biology, University of Tübingen, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

    • Present address: Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB, Ghent University, Technologiepark 927, 9052 Gent, Belgium.

  • Peter Talboys,

    1. Centre for Plant Sciences, Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Rakesh Loya,

    1. Centre for Plant Sciences, Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
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  • Amaar Hassan,

    1. Centre for Plant Sciences, Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
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  • Honglin Rong,

    1. Centre for Plant Sciences, Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
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  • Gerd Jürgens,

    1. Department of Cell Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany
    2. Center for Plant Molecular Biology, University of Tübingen, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany
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  • J. Paul Knox,

    1. Centre for Plant Sciences, Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
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  • Myeong-Hyeon Wang

    1. School of Biotechnology, Kangwon National University, Hyo-Ja 3 Dong, Chuncheon, Gangwon 200-701, South Korea
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For correspondence (fax +44 113 34 33144; email bgyhz@leeds.ac.uk).

Summary

It is well known that abscisic acid (ABA) can halt meristems for long periods without loss of meristem function, and can also promote root growth at low concentrations, but the mechanisms underlying such regulation are largely unknown. Here we show that ABA promotes stem cell maintenance in Arabidopsis root meristems by both promoting the quiescence of the quiescent centre (QC) and suppressing the differentiation of stem cells and their daughters. We demonstrate that these two mechanisms of regulation by ABA involve distinct pathways, and identify components in each pathway. Our findings demonstrate a cellular mechanism for a positive role for ABA in promoting root meristem maintenance and root growth in Arabidopsis.

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